FLAME ready to ignite Barcelona

During the months of October and November 2018, the FLAME replication testbed in Barcelona was finalized and now it is ready to host the first experiments.  The FLAME infrastructure extends across the city and it is the outcome of a collaborative effort of the Barcelona city council (IMI) and i2CAT, both partners within the FLAME consortium.

The testbed infrastructure is composed of three tiers:

  1. the Main DC that hosts powerful compute nodes, located at i2CAT
  2. a fibre network, including networking equipment (switching nodes), that connects the main DC across the city with the 22@ area in Glories where IMI is located
  3. the on-street deployment in the 22@ area, offering both edge computing capacities and the radio access network (RAN) based on high-throughput Wi-Fi
FLAME extends from one end of the city to the other, connecting the main DC with the edge elements over fibre

The on-street deployment is located in a pedestrian area of the 22@ district, with plenty of traffic-free, walkable space for experimenters. The area features four lamp posts equipped with Wi-Fi that enable the RAN for end user connectivity. Further, the lamp posts are interconnected over directive antennas via a wireless backhaul, also based on Wi-Fi. A street cabinet close to the lamp posts hosts the edge computing element, where experimenters can instantiate any services that require to be as close as possible to the users of the media services for low delay and high throughput. Services that require heavy computing and are not time critical can be deployed in the main DC, where more powerful computing nodes are available.

The on-street deployment located in 22@, composed of lamp posts equipped with Wi-Fi and the street cabinet hosting networking and compute elements.

The four lamp posts featured in the Barcelona FLAME deployment hosting the RAN equipment are connected over a wireless mesh, a solution that is expected to be used widely in upcoming 5G deployments. With this feature, FLAME is giving experimenters the chance to work under the same conditions that are expected in upcoming 5G deployments.

FLAME lamp post hosting RAN equipment (left) and cabinet server hosting edge compute and networking elements

The Barcelona FLAME testbed will allow testbed users to deploy their experiments, benefitting from FLAME platform features, which not only allows a fast and dynamic deployment of services, but also fuels the performance of the media services running on the platform. The first experimenters to be able to work with the infrastructure will be the winners of the first Open Call.

Post by August Betzler, i2CAT

If you’re interested in getting involved, FLAME’s second Open Call is open to submissions from 5 December.